Artificial Intelligence is no longer a figment of the future or a mere buzzword. By one estimate, AI has already contributed over $2 trillion to global GDP, and could contribute as much as $15.7 trillion by 2030. AI is also one of the fastest growing sectors for our client base, and raises critical IP, privacy, and other legal issues at every phase of implementation and development. From data collection and database maintenance, to deep learning and neural networks, to protecting AI’s insights and creative byproducts, AI presents cutting-edge issues in patent, trade secret, copyright, products liability, and privacy law.
No firm is better equipped to handle these issues than Quinn Emanuel. We have long worked with AI-focused tech companies such as NVIDIA, Google/Waymo, Qualcomm, Samsung, Primer, SoundHound, OpenAI, and X Corp (formerly known as Twitter) to adeptly navigate the legal landscape, and have had great success safeguarding their most valuable investments and innovations. For example, we represented Waymo in its historic case against Uber involving the misappropriation of trade secrets relating to Waymo’s AI and LIDAR technology for autonomous driving. And we currently represent OpenAI and X in other AI-related matters.
Our AI practice group features a global team of top trial attorneys, many with technical degrees. All told, we have over 100 attorneys with technical degrees at our firm who specialize in IP matters, including many dozens with computer science and electrical engineering degrees. Our AI group spans AI hotbeds across the U.S. (San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Seattle, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, Texas, Miami) throughout Europe (Germany, London, Paris, Belgium) and Asia (China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore). This global scope allows us to advise today’s leading tech companies as they navigate AI’s ever-shifting legal and regulatory terrain worldwide.
We have successfully advised and represented numerous companies in the artificial intelligence space:
- We represent OpenAI, Inc.—the organization behind ChatGPT and DALL·E—in a trademark infringement lawsuit against Guy Ravine and Open Artificial Intelligence, Inc. Since its founding in 2015, OpenAI, Inc. has used the name “OpenAI” with its products and services.
- Quinn Emanuel is representing Cerebras Systems against Rex Computing in a patent infringement action. The litigation relates to Cerebras’ artificial intelligence deep learning system, which runs on the largest computer chip ever built. Rex initially asserted three patents related to complex processor cores, but voluntarily dropped two of the patents after we took over the case. After depositions, Cerebras was granted leave to amend its answer and assert a counterclaim that the remaining patent is unenforceable due to inequitable conduct. Trial is scheduled for September 2024.
- Quinn Emanuel achieved a complete defense victory for client Verkada Inc. before the U.S. International Trade Commission in a case that threatened to exclude the entirety of Verkada’s core product offerings from importation into the United States. Verkada’s recent and rapid growth caught the attention of major, well-established players in the industry—Motorola Solutions, Inc. and Avigilon Corporation (one of its subsidiaries)—who desired to knock an up-and-coming competitor out of the market by filing a complaint with the ITC. Quinn Emanuel hit the ground running to build a multi-faceted defense strategy, working with both in-house technical experts at Verkada and some of the leading experts in the field to develop several alternative non-infringing designs for each patent, identify critical gaps in the complainants’ infringement theories, and locate key prior art that bolstered Verkada’s defense. After hearings before an administrative law judge and the full Commission, the Commission issued a final determination that handed Quinn Emanuel and Verkada a complete defense victory—a rare outcome for a respondent at the ITC.
- We represented Wisk Aero in a trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement case against competitor Archer Aviation, filed in the Northern District of California. Wisk is a subsidiary of Boeing and a pioneer in the development of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. In April 2021, after discovering that a former employee downloaded thousands of files containing valuable trade secrets shortly before leaving for Archer, and suspicious activity by other former employees who joined him, Wisk filed its lawsuit against Archer. In response, Archer revealed that it, and three of its employees, had received federal grand jury subpoenas related to a government investigation. In addition, the FBI executed a search warrant at the residence of one of Archer’s employees. During discovery, the engineer who downloaded thousands of files invoked the Fifth Amendment in response to questioning. In August 2023, one month before trial, the parties settled the matter, with Archer agreeing to compensate Wisk and make Wisk its exclusive provider of autonomy technology in the future to support pilotless aircraft.
- We represent Salesforce in a patent infringement case brought by WSOU Investments LLC (d/b/a Brazos Licensing and Development) relating to Salesforce’s AI-powered product Journey Builder with Einstein STO. This case is set for trial in mid-2024.
- We represented Proofpoint, Inc. and its subsidiary, Cloudmark LLC, in a case involving misappropriation of trade secrets and infringement of copyrights by Vade Secure and its CTO, Olivier Lemarie, as well as a claim for breach of an employment agreement against Mr. Lemarie directly. After a three-week live jury trial, and one week of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in Proofpoint’s favor, finding that Vade Secure had willfully and maliciously misappropriated Proofpoint’s trade secrets (including AI-based trade secrets for detecting cybersecurity attacks), and infringed Proofpoint’s copyrights. The jury also found that Mr. Lemarie had breached his employment agreement with Cloudmark. The jury awarded approximately $14M in compensatory damages. Earlier in the case, we defeated counterclaims raised by Vade Secure asserting antitrust, monopolization, and unfair competition claims against Proofpoint. The Court granted our motion dismissing these counterclaims from the case, in response to which Vade Secure filed amended counterclaims. After we filed a second motion to dismiss the amended counterclaims, Vade Secure dropped them from the case.
- We obtained a complete defense verdict from a jury in a six-patent case. Our client KeyMe provides more than 4,000 automated key-duplicating machines throughout the United States using innovative AI and cloud-based technologies. KeyMe’s competitor, the Hillman Group, also makes key duplicating machines, albeit using outdated technology. After KeyMe successfully displaced Hillman from multiple retailers, Hillman asserted six patents against KeyMe, seeking a large running royalty and a permanent injunction. In a six-day jury trial, we presented substantial evidence, including from KeyMe’s founder and engineers, that the technology used in KeyMe’s machines differed in fundamental ways from the outdated technology claimed in Hillman’s patents. On cross-examination, Hillman’s witnesses were forced to admit that KeyMe’s technology was more sophisticated than Hillman’s. After deliberating less than three hours, the jury returned its verdict that KeyMe did not infringe any of the 18 asserted claims, and further invalidated a majority of the asserted claims.
- We represented the co-founder and chief technology officer of an early-stage AI company in a fraud case involving convertible notes and equity derivatives brought by an investor and obtained a jury verdict in our client’s favor on all counts.
- We represented Waymo LLC, formerly Google’s self-driving car program, in an action asserting misappropriation of trade secrets and patent infringement related to Waymo’s self-driving technology against Uber Technologies, Inc. and Ottomotto LLC (N.D. Cal. 2018). The parties reached a settlement on the fourth day of trial, after Waymo had presented much of its case-in-chief, granting Waymo a percentage of equity in Uber as well as an agreement that assures Uber will not use Waymo’s trade secret software and hardware self-driving car technology.
- In Quid, Inc. v. Primer Technologies, Sean Gourley, et al. (San Francisco Superior 2019; JAMS 2019), we represented AI-based Primer Technologies and its founder and CEO Sean Gourley and two other former Quid employees in a trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract suit brought by Quid, another AI-based company. Primer builds machines that can read and write, automating the analysis of very large datasets, and is deployed by some of the world’s largest government agencies, financial institutions, and Fortune 50 companies. We successfully defeated Quid’s attempt to secure a preliminary injunction against all of our clients, and convinced the San Francisco Superior Court to compel the case against Mr. Gourley to arbitration and to stay the balance of the case filed by Quid.
- In WeRide v Allride, Jin Wang, Kun Wang and ZZX, Inc. (N.D.Cal. 2019), we represented WeRide, a cutting edge, AI-based, Level 4 autonomous vehicle developer and manufacturer in trade secret and breach of contract lawsuit against a former officer, a former employee and their two successor companies ZZX/Allride and Kaizr. The suit focuses on WeRide’s proprietary and secret AI-centric autonomous vehicle source code and related information. We successfully secured a preliminary injunction against the defendants.
- We represented DocuSign in two separate lawsuits entitled RPost Holdings, Inc. and RMail Limited v DocuSign, Inc. (2019), where the RPost plaintiff entities sued DocuSign (and separately Adobe and RightSignature) as well as a dozen DocuSign customers for allegedly infringing multiple patents in the automatic email response technology field. DocuSign is the market leader in electronic signature processing, including AI technology that allows its system to instantly and easily identify agreements and review auto-extracted terms and concepts to ensure compliance and minimize risks. After successfully invalidating the majority of claims asserted in the case and winning a key pre-trial motion regarding admissibility of highly unflattering evidence regarding the principal of the plaintiff, the case settled successfully.
- In uCar Technology vs Yan Li, Hua Zhong, Da Huo, Zhenzhen Kou (N.D.Cal. 2017), we represented four California scientists who founded JingChi, an AI-based autonomous vehicle company, against accusations that they had misappropriated data and other information related to AI-based car/driverless car technology. We defeated plaintiff uCar’s effort to secure a preliminary injunction against our clients, with the court finding provisionally that there was no evidence that our clients had engaged in any trade secret theft or breached any obligation to uCar. After repeatedly demonstrating that uCar’s efforts to identify its trade secrets had failed, uCar dismissed its case with prejudice.
- In Free Stream Media v Alphonso, Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2015/N.D.Cal. 2017), we represented Alphonso, the developer and distributor of a cutting-edge patented video-AI, built with advanced machine learning and computer vision, in a two patent case brought by competitor Free Stream media a/k/a Samba TV in the field of two-sync screen advertising technology. After successfully having the case transferred from the Eastern District of Texas to the Northern District of California, we secured a dismissal of one of the two asserted patents based on the favorable Markman ruling issued in the case. The case was ultimately resolved in Alphonso’s favor via summary judgment.